Cat's Cradle: Time's Crucible Marc Platt
#5 February 1992 ISBN 0-426-20365-8 275 pages
cover art © byPeter Elson

Elson's first cover for the New Adventures is one of his finest. One of the best-known cover artists in the U.K., his Doctor Who work was something of a departure for him stylistically, and let him develop his talents for a wider variety of content.

This was the first New Adventure cover I ever set eyes on (back in 1994), in an advertisement for the mail-order company 800-Trekker. Prior to seeing that ad, I didn't even know such a series of Doctor Who novels existed. Even today, whenever I look at this cover — one of the range's most intriguing and mysterious — I still feel that tingle of excitement when I first saw it all those years ago and could only imagine what fascinating adventures waited inside its page. Perhaps not surprisingly, this cover remains one of my all-time favorites.

A prototype time-ship from ancient Gallifrey collides with the TARDIS, creating a bizarre Moebius-like landscape of causality gone haywire.

outstanding

Platt's imaginative expansion of Gallifreyan history takes center stage here, set against a dizzying Escheresque tale of spatial and temporal paradoxes. An exciting and fascinating novel — I could hardly take my eyes off the pages the first time I read it! The first true triumph for the budding new novel range, it spectacularly shows Doctor Who's storytelling potential in its new full-length literary format.

  • The Cat's Cradle series is much looser than the Timewyrm series, allowing for a broader range of settings and stories. To all intents and purposes these three novels are in fact solo novels, with only the inclusion of the mysterious silver cat to link them together.
  • Marc Platt wrote the story Ghost Light (1989) for Doctor Who's final year on the air, as well as two of the best Seventh Doctor novelizations for the Target range. He went on to contribute further novels for Virgin, all of them based on his own original scripts or script outlines.
  • About a year after this novel was originally published, a Hungarian translation was published by Android. This was the only Virgin book ever to be translated.